Dear Leaders and Colleagues:
On November 23, 2013, we will make history in Corpus Christi! Our first 5K Event, part of the day long ‘Deaf Diffusion” Event, will kick-off an annual celebration of deaf community involvement, talent, skill and leadership.
If you check our Facebook page (DHHC) and our (in progress) web site at http://www.DeafHHCenter.org you will see both the 5K Registration noted, as well as our big ‘new building project’: we won the annual competition for the Mueller Metal Building Helping Hands Project. The link below will tell you more about this:
We have a million reasons for planning and producing Deaf Diffusion – these include:
1. Our desire to show that the Deaf Community is actively involved in raising funds to support the costs for ‘finishing’ the building: Mueller donates the labor, materials and a shell – not a finished building. We fully intend to make as close to $10,000 as possible as contribution to the agency and its increased costs.
2. Our critical need to demonstrate leadership and empowerment on the part of our local leaders, statewide leaders, and entities such as your companies, who provide needed services and products to deaf and hard of hearing people.
3. Bringing together the many individuals and groups who are supportive of ASL, deaf children, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center, and the interests of deaf and hard of hearing people.
4. Not just talking about or showing movies about the leaders, movers and shakers in our community, but bringing them here to show their (your!) stuff.
We have some unique and very positive factors and assets in our area:
1. There is good public awareness of deafness and ASL – many students in H.S. take classes, and there is a ‘famous’ annual Xmas Carole show at a local High School
2. There is ongoing enrollment at Delmar Community College for ASL/Interpreting program
3. There are parents of deaf children who are organized for both TSD and local deaf education programs
4. We have great relations with all of the schools that have ASL programs, deaf education programs, etc.
5. There is a great deal of interest in ASL classes for the general population – Delmar has classes and we run 3 – 5 ASL I and ASL II classes each year.
6. We have excellent relations with the area Independent Living center, CC Transportation Association, the Police, the City of Corpus Christi, hospitals, the county, Emergency Preparedness Teams, the local Shelters, etc. – they are interested in equipment, vp’s, VRS, etc., and they could benefit from demonstrations and practice time.
7. We have Dr. Marcus Myers, Jaime Lugo, Nancy Hohenstein, M. Sean Hill, Javier Molinar, Genelle and Ricky Sanders, Anthony Riojas, Linda Lugo, Willie and Evelyn Floerke, Jesse Cantu, and involved deaf and hearing folks too numerous to mention here who always turn out for events. We have a local HLAA group and a network of volunteers and interns from the schools and Del Mar – we are seeing even more willingness to help now that our building is on everyone’s radar.
8. We have many deaf seniors who would love to have a major event here, and would equally love to talk about and review ‘Their times”
9. There are many deaf people here of Mexican and other Latino heritage whose lives would be changed if they had the chance to know about the TLCDHH – they may not have funds to travel, and may not have regular Internet connections, but if we do word-of-mouth and hand-outs, they will come!
10. We have some very powerful media and political connections at local and state level – this event will be huge deal in Corpus Christi!
We also have our challenges:
1. We struggle to demonstrate and remind our local society that deaf and hard of hearing people are not just ‘patients, clients or consumers’; that we’re also good neighbors, professionals, experts in various fields, and sometimes the best resource for issues or planning
2. There are few ‘key’ positions for people with hearing loss, and many college educated folks do not stay here or return here – we need more and better jobs, more and better employer awareness
3. We have very limited resources for people with hearing loss with mental health, addiction, DD or related issues. There are no group homes or residential programs for those who are deaf – such folks are stuck in ‘regular’ programs with few or no resources for ASL, interpreters, etc.
4. We are behind – it sometimes feels like the 1980’s down here in terms of ADA awareness and compliance, willingness to consider access, etc.
5. Many people in our community have not had the opportunity for education, seeing life beyond the local level, or having significant interactions or experiences beyond their families (who rarely know any ASL) or the folks they know from DHHC. This gives many in our local society the false impressions that “deaf people are not educated”, “ deaf people do not want to/know how to work”, and “deaf people have very limited lives and capacity.
Yet, we are determined as hell! We need you to be here with us to do a big hand waving day, and to shake some sense and pride into our larger community!
What we need from you:
1. A commitment to be here with us as supporter, sponsor, Speaker on our big day – November 23, 2013 in Cole Park, Corpus Christi.
2. A willingness to get the word out to other key companies, leaders, artists, etc. to bring them here.
3. PR and word-of-mouth promotions to get as many folks here as we can – we are more than willing to arrange hotel room blocks, etc., for those who want to sleep over – we just need some numbers.
4. Names, email addresses and other contact info for Verizon, SPRINT, Grande, Time Warner, AT&T – any possible company or entity who serves deaf people and those with hearing loss through products, monthly services, etc.
5. Any and all (legal J) ideas for raising funds.
6. Any S. Texas company (we have to be careful not to raid our agency’s sponsor list for the annual Heroes event – we’re looking for different and more topical supporters) who can support and sponsor our first 5k/Deaf Diffusion.
Our basic plan is to run two segments of our 5K for a) runners, and b) walkers and rollers. After that, we will have a break for runners to recover, then begin Opening ceremonies with local Officials. There will be food vendors, table sales for local agencies and companies, opportunities for sponsorship with banners, stage time, etc. and we will alternate talent (several deaf performers/ASL students signing songs, a Step Team) with Deaf Speakers and leaders, historical information, and weather permitting, a display of our cultural pictures, communications equipment and devices, films, etc.
Javier Molinar is the Chair of our 5K. He is working with a team of local runners and advocates on the race itself. Nancy Hohenstein and I are working on sponsorships and promotions, and our team in that effort includes Jaime Lugo, Lilah Hanshew and Thomas Sanchez, the letter who are ASL interpreters and very committed to our community.
Mary E. Wambach, Executive Director
The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center
5151 McArdle Road
Corpus Christi, Texas 78411
Toll Free: 866-993-1154